Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Passing on the "Blog Love"

I have been doing little in the way of "blog worthy" activities lately.

I did some fluffing on my kitchen shelves,

moved my front porch furniture around 

and spruced up the side of the garage, but nothing that merits a full blog post.

When I received this Home Goods gift card in the mail, it reminded me that I have never posted about the lovely gifts I received from sweet blogging friends.

I was the winner of the giveaway from Dagmara of Glamista Home and I can't wait to make the drive to nearest Home Goods; maybe I will buy some Halloween decor because I promised Steve I would stop buying dishes.

Earlier this summer, my friend Bobbie of Cottleston Pie sent me a fun package

lovingly wrapped in handmade tissue paper.

Inside was the cutest little magnetic mousetrap decorated with our sweet Lulu and a beautiful handmade card now hanging on my bicycle wheel.

And then, there was a great piece of fabric in my primary colors - still waiting to be made into a table runner.

Not long after I received Bobbie's gift, a blog friend I have actually met sent me a surprise package.

Patty of Patty's Pretty Things loves to use her Silhouette to make all sorts of things and she chose gorgeous gold speckled paper to make the tags.

Another item Patty made using her Silhouette is a little book with a great vintage seaside picture - that cute little outfit might have been worn by my mother when she was growing up in Ocean Park.

Just like Bobbie remembering Little Lulu, Patty threw in a pair of poodle socks that won't be worn for a couple more months if our warm weather holds.

Jann of Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson sent me the cutest framed vintage cloth

that found a home on my nightstand.

And last, but not least, Monica of Prince Snow Farm sent me some lovely home grown lavender.

My blog post written, I headed to bed, but I felt like something was missing from my blog post - through the night, I realized that what was missing was my personal take on all of the sweet gifts so I got up this morning determined to do be creative.

The piece of fabric from Bobbie was torn in half (lazy me), sewn together and fringed (more laziness) to become a table runner.

Patty's sailor girl and Jann's sailor boy ended up in a shell display - it's still summer here!

Monica's lavender now holds a prominent spot in the living room in an old metal pitcher.

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And now, it is time to pass on the "blog love".

I made "boo" sachets pillows to thank Monica for the lavender and a few other things she sent me - I won't show them until they are embellished.

I will draw the names of 3 winners who may request whatever words they would like on the sachets.

obviously no one wants a S U M M E R banner now, but it was all I had to show a sample

Or, the winners can opt for a banner with the letters of their choice.

To participate, just leave a comment telling me what letters you would like if your name is drawn and whether you would like sachet pillows or a banner - length is no problem because I have plenty of drop cloth fabric.

 Names will be drawn on October 1.

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Join me for

Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House

Show and Share at Coastal Charm

Monday, September 8, 2014

Two Trees and a Tree House

In the two and a half years I have been blogging, I have only featured the homes of friends a few times, but each time, the response has been good.

Most people enjoyed seeing Lisa's ranch house and garden.

And, Leslie's beach house was a big hit.

Both my house and my life are topsy turvy at the moment - nothing bad, just lots of balls in the air - so I thought today would be a good time to feature another friend.

 Recently, I photographed Michelle's home and creative space.

I met Michelle over 20 years ago when our classrooms were next door to each other.

Nowadays, this is where I usually see Michelle, while we are both walking our dogs.

The front yard of Michelle's little beach cottage is welcoming, but she spends little time sitting there.

Every day when Michelle gets home from school, she goes right to her garage where she has carved out a place to create beautiful jewelry.

I love the story of how Two Trees Jewelry came into existence.

Michelle was going to New York to visit a good friend who had moved away and wanted Michelle to bring her something that would remind her of home.

Two Tree Hill - oil on canvas - Steve Cook 

Two Tree Hill is an iconic feature of Ventura so Michelle created a piece of jewelry for her friend depicting both the ocean and Two Trees- 

and she found herself with a second career- Two Trees Jewelry.

Michelle grew up in the same beach neighborhood where she now lives and says she has been collecting heart shaped rocks and bits of shells her entire life.

She turns those found pieces into unique pieces of jewelry.

She also combines silver with semi precious stones such as lapis lazuli to create beautiful pieces like her popular lotus flower.

In addition to the Lotus flower, Two Trees and a Peace sign are Michelle's top selling pieces.

Michelle found some driftwood on the beach and created a piece to hold her tools.

She is a woman with many talents - she made the TO BEACH sign for herself one Christmas and also for each family on her lane.

I had not planned to take any photos of the interior of Michelle's beach house, but after admiring the stepping stone mosaics she made, Michelle showed me the tiles she created for her kitchen island.

I peeked into the back yard where I found an amazing tree house .

Years ago, when Michelle's children were little, a neighboring family built the 3 story tree house and it still stands today.

I climbed to the top of the treehouse - very carefully - and was rewarded with

views of the the Ventura hills and the Pacific Ocean.

I was shooting right into the sun so this photo does not do Michelle's treetop view justice.

I hope you enjoyed peeking into Michelle's garden

and her creative space.

You can see more of Michelle's work at twotreesjewelry.com.

If you are interested in purchasing anything, let Michelle know you read about her on my blog and she will give a discount.